Three Republican Lawmakers Joined All Democrats Voting 224-206

(screen capture via C-SPAN)

The Equality Act (H.R. 5), which would amend current federal laws to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people, passed in the House of Representatives today by a vote of 224-206.

Three Republicans – Reps. Tom Reed (NY), John Katko (NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) – joined the entire Democratic caucus voting in favor of the legislation.

Half of LGBTQ people in the U.S. live in the 29 states that lack comprehensive, statewide protections. As a result, discrimination is still commonplace – and legal.

Currently, a person can be denied housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in 27 states; denied access to education in 31 states; and the right to serve on a jury in 41 states.

Conservatives argue the Equality Act would interfere with their right to discriminate against LGBTQ people on the basis of ‘religious liberty.’

The legislation was previously approved in the House in 2019.

On May 17, 2019, the vote (236-173) carried with 8 Republicans voting in favor of the bill and no Democrats opposing. Former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell never allowed a vote on the bill in the Senate.

The difference in vote margins between 2019 and today can be attributed, in part, to a smaller Democratic majority since the 2020 election. Plus, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) voted for the Equality Act in 2019 but voted “no” this time around.

The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate where Democrats will need to find 10 Republican votes in order for the bill to be approved.

President Joe Biden has promised to sign the Equality Act into law if it reaches his desk.

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